Varsity Water Polo Concludes a Triumphant Season

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Rena Salsberg, Staff Writer

The Varsity Water Polo team wrapped up a successful season this week at the school’s invitational on Wednesday against Riverdale and Trinity, and their game on Friday against Fieldston.

“Friday is our last hurrah, so my goal for the game is to have as much fun as possible and to play my best,” Steve Yang (12) said.

The team went undefeated in all six of their games in the Ivy Prep League. The highlight of the season was homecoming, Noah Castillo (10) said. “Usually the water polo crowds aren’t that big, so it was really great to actually have people watching, as the crowd creates a new level of energy and enthusiasm.”

Max Chasin (12) and Castillo helped facilitate the team’s wins, Yang said. The Lions’ ability to maintain a positive attitude in the games was also crucial to their successful season, he said. “When the games were close, or we were slightly down a bit, we always made sure to keep our heads high no matter the score or questionable calls made by the referees.”

“Team Captain Max Chasin is definitely a stand-out player on the team, with 120 goals just this season,” Coach Michael Duffy said. Although the team will lose one of their strongest and most talented players next year, Chasin playing and practicing alongside his team members has helped improve the skill level of the other players, he said. “When you play against Max, now all of a sudden you challenge yourself to play against someone with so much skill that you may never even face in a game.”

The seniors on the team have done an amazing job with setting a positive tone for the team, Duffy said. Additionally, the team’s two strongest players, Chasin and Castillo have been great assets to the team. “Working both Chasin and Castillo together on the offensive side is really helpful, and our philosophy is to play really strong defense,” he said. 

The team dynamic and skills the players have acquired over the season played a large role in their success, Jared Contant (12) said. “Our defense has been really well done because we’ve been able to effectively shut down the strongest players even if everyone on our team isn’t the best shooter.”

Despite the loss of last year’s senior class, the team remained close and was able to work well together, Contant said. “For these last two games, I hope that we continue having fun and don’t pressure ourselves to some unattainable standard.” 

As the season draws to a close, Yang will miss the adrenaline that he feels in games and practices. “Watching and learning from the brilliant plays that our players make will be something I will miss,” he said. “Also, when we play schools farther away in New Jersey or Connecticut, we use the bus rides to bond.”

“Team sports have taught me to work better with others. Whether that’s nonverbal communication, seeing what is going on and making quick decisions, or even getting to know other people and understanding their strengths and weaknesses, or how you can best benefit the overall collective,” Contant said.

The team’s ability to remain aware and attentive throughout the games has definitely led to the team’s success, Castillo said. In water polo, it is important to be aware of both finding the open people in the pool, and of your surroundings, which the team has really excelled in. 

“A lot of first-time Varsity players have definitely improved on the quickness from transitioning from offensive back to defense,” Castillo said.